Tuesday, May 17

Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Over-The-Wall Team Voted First-Quarter

For their outstanding efforts on pit road during the first quarter of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota over-the-wall team for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2011 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition.

The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team’s crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas.

This year, Busch, crew chief Dave Rogers and the No. 18 team have posted two wins and six top-five finishes and currently sits in third place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. While Busch is turning fast laps behind the wheel, his over-the-wall gang has been on their game as well, performing consistent, quick pit stops all year.

The award is part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. Mechanix Wear, the No. 1 glove in racing, is the Official Glove of NASCAR®used by nearly all pit crew members for 20 years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Created ten years ago, the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award is one of the most sought-after titles for pit crews.

“We work with pit crews every week to jointly develop products that help them do their job better,” said Ted Abdon, director of racing for Mechanix Wear. “We look at the changes in the cars and the pit stops, and create products that make them safer on the job and help them do it more effectively. We’ve worked hard to reward them for being the best in their sport.”

Members of the No. 18 pit crew include: Nick O’Dell (front-tire changer), Brad Donaghy (front-tire carrier), Jake Seminara (rear-tire changer), Kenny Barber (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Fender (jackman), Tom Lampe (gasman). The team’s pit crew coordinator is Paul Alepa and JGR’s athletic director is Michael Lepp.

“I think that our M&M’s/Interstate Batteries team is the best week in and week out on pit road,” said Busch. “It’s great to see them get the credit they deserve. I say it every week – those guys win me a lot of races and get me a lot of good finishes. A big thanks to Mechanix Wear for honoring all of their hard work.”

“We’re proud of everyone on this No. 18 M&M’s/Interstate Batteries team and the job they do each week,” said Lepp. “All of our teams put so much time and effort into being the best they can be and giving our drivers the opportunity to win races that it is nice to have them recognized with an honor like this from Mechanix Wear.”

The No. 18 pit crew will be presented the first-quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award Saturday before the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (9 p.m. ET, SPEED).

Official winners of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards earned at Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway include:

AMERICAN ETHANOL GREEN FLAG RESTART: Jimmie Johnson

COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Not Awarded Due to Inclement Weather

DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Dave Rogers (crew chief for Kyle Busch)

GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Jimmie Johnson (153.525 mph, Lap 3)

MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Roush Yates Engines (engine builder for Matt Kenseth, No. 17)

MECHANIX WEAR MOST VALUABLE PIT CREW AWARD (Q1): No.18, Joe Gibbs Racing

MOBIL 1 OIL DRIVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Brian Vickers

MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Shane Wilson, 0.218 sec (crew chief for Clint Bowyer)

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Matt Kenseth (23 places)

SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Andy Lally

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